Welcome to Experiencing Life, your travel guide for life!
It is one thing to learn about life (biology) in a classroom. It is another, much more fulfilling, thing to learn about life by experiencing it in natural and/or meaningful settings. These field trips are meant to guide you through the world of biology by doing just that. Not all of the sites are completely natural (zoos, museums, etc.) but they all present an experience that cannot be had in a classroom.
The trips are numbered 1-12. The first four trips will cover most of the basic biology and much of the range of diversity in life. The remaining eight trips will explore more specific environments and organisms and expand on some of the basic biology.
As of this writing, some of the site pages have very little information them. As I visit the sites myself and do more research, I will write entries on the locations about what you can expect to experience and some of the biology behind those experiences. In the meantime, I may post about the sites I've already visited, on current events related to the sites or on biology topics in the blog.
This video will introduce the Experiencing Life series:
48-minute video orientation to the Experiencing Life series.
Goals of Experiencing Life Field Trips:
To understand the connections of the natural world through space and time
To observe and learn about the diversity of environments and organisms in their natural settings
To experience and understand the geography of the United States and the world
Experiencing Life Principles:
Humans are part of nature, not separate from it
Other organisms are affected, directly and indirectly, by human actions
Humans depend on other organisms for their own health and survival
Diversity is important in maintaining healthy ecosystems upon which humans depend
A single species can have a large impact on an entire ecosystem
Pollution knows no boundaries
Biological control methods (for pests, etc.) can be more effective than chemical methods
Croplands and other "man-made" environments can play significant ecological roles
There are noticeable differences between eastern and western forests in the U.S., and there is diversity within these two forest types
Grasslands have higher diversity than many forests and exist in three distinct types in the U.S.
The U.S. has four distinct desert types
There is high diversity among the various water environments (hot, salty, extremely salty, estuarine, fresh, clear, murky, acidic, alkaline, etc.)
While there is great diversity of life there are also many similarities among seemingly different organisms
High diversity is found in relatively small areas around the world
Environments and organisms exist naturally due to geographic factors such as latitude, altitude, relationship to large water bodies and/or mountains, etc.
This series is about experiencing life. That is a double-entendre. Learning about biology, the study of life, is one aspect of that. The other aspect concerns the kinds of experiences that make up a full and interesting life. These experiences can be purely emotional, as opposed to the rational experiences and interpretations required of scientific learning. So another goal of the series is to distinguish between these two opposing, yet equally legitimate, ways of experiencing life. To that end, it may be helpful to read this short explanation of the position of Experiencing Life on a scientific theory that tends to provoke emotions in some people: On The Learning Of Evolution. Hopefully, after reading it, you will feel less threatened by the topic, and science in general, and can have more fulfilling experiences.